Over the last 38 years, The Cultch’s Historic Theatre has been a point of convergence for an astounding array of artistic formations. This year, from June 6 through 11, it will become a site of creation in a way unlike any other performance in the theatre’s long history. The Cultch is very excited to be presenting Home Sweet Home, an innovative combination of interactive theatre, architecture and audience-driven performance. We invite you to become residents of Vancouver’s smallest suburb at The Cultch.
In Home Sweet Home, the Historic Theatre’s performance space will be occupied by a large canvas map outlining the boundaries of a community yet to be created. Audience members are then invited to choose a plot and a house and become “residents” of this community. The houses, white flat-packed cardboard buildings that measure in mere inches, are then constructed and decorated by the residents and placed throughout the map. Participants are encouraged to personalize their new property, helping create a unique collective community.
The building of this miniature community becomes an interactive experience as neighbours start to talk to one another and make plans for their neighbourhood. Residents decide street names, elect a city council and can send messages to one another through the community postal worker and a community message board. There will also be a local radio station, which will entertain the participants as well as interview residents and provide updates on the happenings of the community. The goal is to have this small cardboard town become a living, thriving place with residents immersed in the fiction of their hand-made homes. All participants are encouraged to come back with their families and friends to meet their new neighbours and explore the community as it grows each day.
On the final day of Home Sweet Home – June 11 – The Cultch will host a block party and open house, heralding the end of this transient, miniature world of cardboard buildings. Residents are then able to take their handmade homes with them, as a reminder of the community that was, and their role in it.
Home Sweet Home began in 2006 as a graduate project by Abigail Conway and Lucy Hayhoe, the founders of Subject to_change, an artistic company based in the U.K. The project was born from a desire to create live art that encouraged its audience to participate and take ownership of their individual experience. It has since had huge success, with versions of the event being staged all over the world including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the London Festival of Architecture and the Magnetic North Theatre Festival in Kitchener-Waterloo. The Cultch presentation will feature local actors and volunteers and up to 400 different houses on the plot.
Home Sweet Home is free and will be open to the public from June 6th to 10th from 1 – 8 pm and Saturday, June 11th from 12-6 pm with the block party taking place on Saturday from 4 to 6pm. The event is free and the possibilities are nearly endless. The Cultch welcomes you to join us for this unique, immersive and playful experience, creating a community where art and life meet somewhere in the middle.